Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The clown doctors Aruba

The clowns sorting out the Christmas tree decorations. I didn't take any pictures of them 'in action' as I wasn't sure if I was allowed to take and/or post pictures with the residents of the old people's home or the children with special needs on it.

Before our move to Aruba I had already been thinking that I had wanted to do the following things here:
  1. Sing in a band
  2. Join the clown doctors

Well, it looks like I will be doing both those things. The band has already been formed. Currently it's just the 4 of us, with 2 Dutch guys (guitar & bass), one Aruban guy(drums) & we may still take on one more person (keyboards). They really are a nice bunch, so I'm very happy. We haven't got a name yet, so any suggestions would be welcomed ; )

And then there's the clown doctors...

I went to see them in action yesterday & loved what they did. They had invited some special needs kids to a retirement home-with mainly people with Alzheimer’s-to help them decorate their Christmas trees. It was a wonderful experience.

As I arrived, most of the residence were sitting motionless in the hallways. I was surprised at the lack of reactions from them. I would greet them as I walked by, but most would not acknowledge me at all. I guess its part of the Alzheimer’s? Anyway, what was interesting was the things that did make them react. For instance, I noticed the difference music made. As soon as the salsa music started to play many residents would start dancing and singing and you could see how they were transported into another space and time. Suddenly you could see how these people had once been, dancing the night away, celebrating life, feeling sexy and confident...I instantly realized that one day I (like any of us) could be just like them & that music would definitely do the same thing for me as it did for them (already, when I hear good dance music I get transported back to the nineties and I get a huge grin on my face; )

The other thing that made the residents react was the sight of children in the hallways. Most of them loved the kids. We tried to get the old people involved with the decorating of the trees by giving them some decorations to unpack-it was as much as most could contribute-and to hand the decorations back to the kids to hang in the tree.

The clowns were wonderful in how they would approach people and get them involved. It seems that their most important role is to be the icebreaker. It's not about tripping up over banana peels or squirting water out of plastic flowers (though they may do that at times?) It simply is about approaching people, it's about playing with them, holding them, smiling to them, it's about sharing love with them. At least, that's how I see it. That's my feeling of it.

So I would love to join the clown doctors. It's quite a commitment though. It's not something you can do once every few months. You have to commit to one or several 4-hour sessions a week. Still, I would love to do it. I'll first receive some training and after that I'd have to create my character and outfit. I'll keep you informed on it all. Just like the band, it won't really start until the New Year. But that suits me just fine. It gives me a few more weeks to settle in.